I am writing this letter to seek the support of my neighbors to be elected to the Champion Town Board. For those who do not know me, let me take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Jonathan Schell and I am a registered Republican running for Champion Town Board on the ballot under my own party, the Farm Families of Champion. I also received a certificate of authorization from the state Conservative Party.
I have been a resident of the town of Champion for 11 years and live here with my wife and three small children. I am employed as an associate director with Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, where I was recently chosen for the NNY Business 20 Under 40 Class of 2019. I also operate a small livestock farm.
Through my professional work and personal ventures, I have attained extensive municipal experience via various committees and boards on which I’ve served. Some of these highlights include writing more than $ 3 million in farmland protection grants in 2019 that will come to Jefferson, Lewis and Oneida counties, allowing five farms to remain viable and contribute to the local economy; a former member of state Sen. Patty Ritchie’s agriculture advisory board; former adviser to the Oswego County Agriculture Farmland Protection Board, where I assisted them in the creation of a $250,000 agriculture marketing and branding campaign that returned $8.1 million over five years to the county; graduate of the Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Development Institute; and former chairman of the Schoharie County Emergency Response Animal Committee.
My family and I love the rural nature of Champion and truly believe it is a great place to live and raise our family. But unless changes occur at the Town Board level, Champion will never realize its full potential. I am running for councilman because I am growing increasingly frustrated of watching town spending increase, lack of transparency, restricted resident input, general lack of concern with public safety and stagnant economic development initiatives.
I want to ensure that our town continues to be a great place to live and work. I look forward to the election process and the potential privilege of working on behalf of residents and would be honored and humbled by your vote on Tuesday.